I don't know if I've ever spoken much on here about what my life was like before I moved to London. I may have hinted here and there but I don't think I've ever gone into it in much detail.
Four years ago I didn't know any of the people who make up my every day life today. I knew my family of course, and my very good friends in Canada from when I lived there 12 years ago, but the friends I speak to on a daily basis now, the ones I spend all my time with, Adam even! All of these people were strangers to me before I moved to London.
About five years ago I was living up north, finishing my masters degree, living with my mum and step dad, and struggling in a really unhealthy relationship. He had a bad problem with drinking, and I had a really hard time separating my self-worth from our relationship. I'm not entirely sure what I was thinking staying with him, but I do believe that I thought I was only worth as much as he thought of me, and as much as he loved me - which, as it turns out, was not very much on either account.
Not long after finishing my masters and days before my birthday, I found myself single and devistated. I couldn't get out of bed for weeks. All my friends from university were moving on, getting jobs, getting married and drifting away. And where was I? I was worthless, apparently.
But of course that's not true, and after a while I had to get out of bed and get a job. The recession had just hit and I was completely out of luck with my masters is journalism, so I took a job at the local farm shop. Every day for almost a year I wore brown trousers and a brown check shirt which was ten sizes too big for me, and memorised product codes. I actually had some really fun times and met a lot of fun people, but I still felt like a real failure.
It didn't take long for me to start feeling restless though. I may not have felt great, and I was still more than a little broken, but through the simple monotony I started to see that I could do more for myself. And I guess knowing that I should do more lead to me slowly believing that I was capable of more. I started going on dates, having never dated before and only ever been in one relationship with the first boy to ever look my way. Dating was a real eye opener, but I must have seemed like a real mess to every boy who took me out for a drink.
The summer passed and then one day, out of the blue, an old uni friend called me and said she had a room available and maybe I should move to London. So I did. I didn't have a job or really much else to make me think I had a hope of succeeding, but I had given myself time to heal and I felt like I was up for taking chances.
I'm lucky in that I had support from my family, mostly my mum, otherwise I probably would have thrown in the towel after my first few months here. But I didn't. And I had also just met Adam! I was determined I wouldn't get into a relationship any time soon after the last catastrophe, but Adam just kind of took all the "should do's" and "must have's" out of dating. He made it fun!
Now I've got a great job, an amazing group of friends I can always count on, I'm getting married in a few months to the most amazing man in the world, I have the sweetest pup that anyone could ask for (when she's not being naughty), and I'm traveling the world just like I always dreamed.
If I've learned any lessons from that point in my life I guess they would be: that it's never too late to start over. There's never just one opportunity to live a happy life, and if you've missed it it's gone. It's a scary choice to make, and it means taking chances, but goodness when I think of what my life would be like if I had stayed where I was... it's scary. I think I would be in real trouble. And also, never never never ever calculate the value of your own self worth based on how much someone else loves you, or doesn't love you in my case.
And while we're on the topic, don't judge yourself against others, especially in the blogging world. Not everything is always as it seems...
Know your own value, your own strengths and weaknesses, and what you are capable of because once you know your own self worth, no one can ever take that away from you.